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If his life a snare would prove,
If his life would matter raise
For the purpose of soothing the feelings of his bereaved wife, still enfeebled by disease, and of rendering the loss of their son subservient to her spiritual benefit, Mr. Charles Wesley wrote the following hymn, which he entitled, “A mother's act of resignation on the death of a child :"
Peace, my heart, be calm, be still,
Child of prayer, by grace divine
Through the purple fountain brought,
Lord, for this alone I stay,
But Mr. Charles Wesley's most remarkable poetical composition, written upon this mournful and joyous occasion, was a hymn in eight parts, containing fifty-one stanzas, of six lines each, in which he gives full vent to his own deep and irrepressible feelings. It forms a perfect contrast to the calm and soothing verses which he put into the mouth of his sorrowing and enfeebled wife. Here the poet, the father, the husband, the man of God, are seen to the greatest advantage. He begins in the language of passionate regret; he offers thanksgivings to God for the mother's preservation; he celebrates the child's escape from all the toils, the sorrows, the perils of life, and his admission into the company of the heavenly harpers; and in all the confidence and joy of hope, he anticipates his own glorification, and that of the mother, with their sainted child; praying, at the same time, for a sanctified use of the bereavement. The
ne; and the parents now take God alone for their portion. The following specimens are given. Who can read the touching lines without tears ? Who can see the secrets of a generous and sanctified nature disclosed, without admiration and love?
Look down, thou happy spirit, look down,
An eye of pitying love let fall
Who for that spotless mantle call,
Great King of saints, to thee alone
For mercy and for grace we pray : Thy glorious grace hath saved the son,
The parents next to heaven convey, Thy power and goodness to adore, Where death and parting is no more.
Jesus, our sole support thou art,
Our only hope in deep distress ;
And, cheer'd by thy victorious grace,
Who weeping build our infant's tomb,
With joy we hasten to our own : That happiest day will quickly come,
When we shall lay our burden down, When loosed from earth our souls shall soar, And find whom we shall lose no more.
No human heart can e'er conceive
The transports of our meeting there,
Where one we fondly deem'd our heir,
Arrived above, the stranger stands,
Encompass’d with acclaiming quires ; He hears, and waves his plausive hands,
Transported with the harpers' lyres, Expands his tuneful soul to prove The' harmonious powers of heavenly love.
Angels, rejoice! a child is born
Into your happier world above !
While on the wings of heavenly love
His few sad days of guiltless pain
Are all irrevocably gone ; Escaped from earth without a stain,
My heart's desire, my darling son, Hath first attain'd his endless rest, Hath reach'd his heavenly Father's breast.
And shall I for his bliss repine ?
And shall I for his absence grieve?
With awful joy and thanks receive
My prayers are seal'd, my child is fled,
Is safe on that eternal shore : No longer I his dangers dread,
The poisonous world's bewitching power, The charms of sin, the tempter's art, The fondness of a parent's heart.
No more my eyes with tears o'erflow,
No more in deep distress I pray,
Ah! take him from the evil day;
'Tis finish'd ! all his course of pain !
'Tis finish'd! all our task of care ! We turn us to our rest again, In solemn praise, and humble
prayer For lo ! our awful office ends; For lo ! our sacred charge ascends !
The child of whom we seem bereaved,
Whom feeble flesh would still deplore,
And kindly bids us weep no more ;
Father, we make thy deed our own,
Submissive to thy wisest choice ; Though nature give a parting groan,
Our spirits shall in thee rejoice, And thankfully at last approve The' appointments of eternal love.